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Full text of "The History Of Western Education"

THE SEVENTEENTH CENTURY             261

sentences are too long break them up; (e) nothing should appear
in the translation for which a sufficient reason cannot be given;
(/) avoid jingles which jar on the ear."* Composition in Latin
which in other schools followed directly on the learning of
grammar was postponed till it could have an ample foundation
in this careful translation of the Latin authors. Even then, greater
importance was attached to the immediate reproduction in Latin
of the substance of what had been read than to the rendering
of set passages.

With the Port Royal schools and the view of life for which
they stood, a new spirit entered into French education. Even
the university of Paris, which had deliberately shut out modern
thought by interdicting innovations like the Cartesian philosophy,
began to resile from its obscurantism as the Seventeenth Century
drew to a close. The French language and literature got some
recognition, and better methods of teaching, suggested like those
of Port Royal by Descartes* principles, began to displace the
formal exercises which had lingered on in the colleges from the
Middle Ages. The Treatise on Studies (1726-1728) summing up
the experience of Charles Rollin (1661-1741), who, as professor
of history in the college of France and three times rector of the
university, had had a considerable share in this movement of
reform, bears unmistakable witness to the influence of Jansenism.

4. COURTLY EDUCATION

In the Sixteenth Century, practically all the better classes sent
their children to the grammar schools or to schools of kindred
type. But the great social changes following on the Reformation
and the wars of religion produced an increasing separation of the
nobles and landed gentry from the clergy and the middle classes
for whom these schools mainly served. In consequence of this,
there arose a demand all over Western Europe for a different
kind of education to prepare young aristocrats for the duties of
Court and State, The models for this education were ready
to hand in the methods of courtly education which had been
developed with striking success in Italy in the golden days of the
Renaissance, The example of schools like those of Vittorino and

* Barnard, p. 134.